Ottawa, CANADA — (press release) — QNX Software Systems has announced it will offer its new QNX realtime platform free for non-commercial use as part of a comprehensive strategy to establish QNX as a premier platform for the exploding embedded market — which includes everything from handheld web appliances to mission-critical Internet routers.
Developers will be able to download the entire platform — OS, embeddable windowing system, toolchain, and more — for evaluation, proofs-of-concept, and personal use. QNX will also release source code for many applications, drivers, and libraries.
In addition, QNX has integrated a high level of Linux compatibility into its new platform so that Linux developers will feel right at home. As a result, e-device builders can now leverage the enormous pool of Linux talent, while building their products on reliable, market-proven QNX technology.
QNX's strategy also includes a new approach to source licensing: an “accessible source” model that delivers benefits of an open-source OS, while enabling e-device developers to maximize system security and maintain ownership of their intellectual property (IP).
“Our goal is simple: to have the QNX platform run in one third of the over 400 million e-devices that, according to market analysts, will ship in 2003,” said Gordon Bell, president of QNX.
“And to achieve that, QNX is offering something unique: a solution that combines the reliability and efficiency of a true RTOS with all the advantages of a true platform OS — low cost of entry, significantly higher productivity, and APIs familiar to a huge community of developers. Plus, QNX will provide something that no other platform OS can: 20 years' experience serving the embedded market.”
Building a Developer Community
To encourage a large, self-sustaining developer community, QNX is implementing several new programs: a program that gives ISVs commercial access to QNX tools at low cost; a variety of incentives to encourage developers to port or create new QNX technology; and the Get QNX program, which provides free access to the QNX realtime platform.
To support thousands of new developers, QNX is also deploying the new web-based QNX Developers Network (QDN). With the QDN, users can tap into a complete range of support services — newsgroups, FAQs, technotes, upgrades, free software, plus a knowledge base that provides instant answers to thousands of technical questions.
Accessible Source: A Reliable Alternative
“While e-device builders see the productivity benefits of open source, most have serious concerns about using open-source OS code in their products, citing threats to security, reliability, and potential loss of intellectual property due to GPL licensing,” said Paul Leroux, senior technology analyst at QNX. “The QNX realtime platform addresses these concerns through an 'accessible source' model, where source code is publicly available for most modules, but not for those core components critical to the overall quality, security, and reliability of the OS.”
“Open-source kernel code may have its advantages, but, for the majority of e-devices, it has drawbacks, too,” said Bell. “Rather than burden embedded teams with the time-consuming — and expensive — task of modifying and maintaining kernel code, we offer a more productive approach: an OS architecture that can be extended using application-level tools and developers. It's friendlier, faster, more cost-effective — and much more reliable.”
A Familiar Platform for Embedded Developers
For over a decade, QNX has supported industry-standard POSIX and Unix APIs. Now, to make the QNX platform accessible to even more developers, QNX Software has integrated a high level of Linux compatibility.
“Linux developers can be immediately productive in the QNX environment. Better yet, most Linux applications can port easily,” said Bell. “Put simply, QNX now provides Linux developers with a highly accessible — and field-proven — platform for targeting the e-device market.”
Developers are invited to pre-register today for their copy of the QNX realtime platform. Visit get.qnx.com.
The platform will be available in May to selected developers and to all registered attendees of the QNX2000 International Technology Conference (May 14 to 17). The general public will be able to download the platform this summer.
About QNX Software Systems
Founded in 1980, QNX Software Systems is an industry leader in realtime, microkernel OS technology. The company has established a strong customer base in a variety of industries, including consumer electronics, telecommunications, medical instrumentation, process control, transportation, point-of-sale, and telephony. QNX products are distributed in over 100 countries worldwide.
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.